Study Abroad Dreams

Some of you might already know this, but I have recently been expected to study abroad in Madrid this coming summer! I will be there from May 17th to June 29th. This sounds so corny, but I've been dreaming to study abroad in Madrid since I was in high school. As the time to start submitting applications to study abroad drew closer, I learned that the majority of my friends were also planning to study abroad in Europe, during the spring semester of junior year. I hosted a family meeting to discuss finances, but determined the entire spring semester overall too pricey, so I "settled" for the summer program. Regardless, this dream of mine is finally becoming a reality! Now I'm trying to take this dream-turned-reality one step further...

Part of being a student in Newhouse is attending lectures, forums and roundtables. I'll admit, some of these events I attend because I will get extra credit in my classes – but, the majority of my attendance stems from sheer interest. This past Wednesday the 27th, Newhouse held its annual Eric Mower Advertising Forum which brought Stacy Minero, Twitter's Director of Brand Strategy. She gave an amazing presentation on the purpose of Twitter, amazing campaigns that have happened on the platform and what she foresees for the future of the app. Minero dedicated a portion of this presentation to a Twitter campaign that Airbnb ran in 2016, #LiveInTheMovies. If you've never heard of it, you can read all about it here, and watch the promotional video by Airbnb here. After hearing Minero speak firsthand about this campaign and giving her own insights, it got me thinking...

How amazing would it be for me to try to secure a job that would allow me to blog during my time overseas? Perhaps such an opportunity would even be able to fund travel to other countries from Madrid! This is definitely wishful thinking, but it is something I am going to work as hard as I can to try and turn into a reality, just as I did for being accepted to study abroad. So, I've compiled a list of some of the top places I'm dying to visit, given I had the chance / sponsorship that would give me lasting memories, a unique cultural experience and allow me to #LiveMyBestLife!

Credit: @alliemeltser

The Amalfi Coast

This picturesque vacation seemingly provides a history lesson and seaside getaway wrapped up in one breathtaking and unforgettable experience. Everything revolves around the water, and each location reportedly boasts miraculous views. You can get your history fix at the temples of Paestum – the ruins of an ancient civilization – as well as tour the second-largest ancient coliseum in Italy, Capua. The Amalfi Coast also seems to perfectly blend modern and ancient art, what with the "NaturArte Project."  Plus, think of all the daytime activities – exploring the Blue Grotto of the Isle of Capri, scenic hikes (think Sentiero degli Dei), as well as cave hikes and visits to cliffside villages. 

Credit: @ast926

Budapest, Hungary

Many people don't know this about me, but much of my family hails from Hungary. Practically everyone in my family has been to Budapest at some point in their lives, except for my sister and me. This trip would not just provide me with a unique cultural experience, but I would get to experience the setting of many of my family stories. Plus, the city offers a variety of art museums and wonderful restaurants with struedel and lekvar, as well as live music of the waltz. One of the city's most popular and unmissable attractions is its mineral baths. Many of them have a wave feature – walk down into the concrete pools and wait for the water to rise, imitating waves of the ocean.


For your convenience, check out this list of the Top 6 Airbnbs in Budapest:

Credit: @paigebselber

Hvar, Croatia

I chose Hvar because I've heard the most about it, but I honestly would love to travel to every corner of this country. Beach life is coupled with mountains; mountain hikes overlook the glittering turquoise ocean and sprawling, spectacular beaches. I've also heard this is heaven for coffee-lovers and is bursting at the seams with cafes. It also is the home of arguably one of the quirkiest museums: The Museum of Broken Relationships.

Credit: @isabellapisani

Mykonos, Greece

Who wouldn't want to get lost in the mazes of streets that make up this Greek island? Every staircase, corner and cobblestone seems photogenic enough to be a postcard, and the food is always served fresh. Other than fun in the sun – bare, if you dare – the island also has unique wineries and archaeological sites.

Credit: @jennasalomon

Paris, France

Many see Paris as the "city of lights" or the "city of love." I've been told that a visit to Paris for me would be more of a pilgrimage because of its incredible fashion, art and cuisine. The designer storefronts are "more like meccas" and plates of food are "just as breathtaking as the art" – so I've heard. Plus, how could one resist the architectural genius and draw of the Musée de Louvre, the picturesque view from the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris?

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The Amalfi Coast: